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Interesting tern at Wenas Lake

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  • Jeff Kozma
    On my way back from doing field work in the Wenas today, I spotted a tern flying over the north end of the lake. A view with my scope lead to a confusing ID.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2011
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      On my way back from doing field work in the Wenas today, I spotted a tern
      flying over the north end of the lake. A view with my scope lead to a
      confusing ID. The bird was not a Caspian Tern nor was it a Black Tern. I
      was left to muddle over Common or Forster's. The back and mantle was
      uniformly gray. The bird did not have a completely black cap. Common Terns
      do not molt into winter plumage until they are out of the U.S. and immatures
      have a dark shoulder bar which this bird did not have. A dark eye type
      patch was evident of a winter plumage Forster's but the tail looked fairly
      short, not deeply forked. Forster's molt into winter plumage by mid-August.
      Unfortunately, I did not make not of a white rump contrasting with the gray
      back that ID's a Forster's. Thus, from all this, I am concluding that it
      was a Forster's Tern.



      Jeff Kozma



      Yakima (Terrace Heights)









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